It can be easy to feel discouraged and hopeless that things will ever get better. These feelings are so real and held by my Father, God. However, amid these feelings, the word that I cannot get out of my head has been hope. It has been during these present hardships that I have discovered the meaning of faith and the reality of hope. This world is not all there is. If it was, I would indeed be hopeless. 

 

Something the Lord has been teaching me in the past few years is that genuine faith is revealed during hardship. This seems like a harsh truth at first, but I have learned that God never speaks truth to us without reminding us how much He loves us. The situations we go through are real and so hard at times, but I have found that the trials we face in our human bodies do not diminish our hope or suddenly make it out to be a lie. This is because we not only have a God who suffers with us (John 14:16), but He also suffered for us so that we would have the confidence that this world is not all there is. Revelation 21:4 has been a battle cry for me: 

 

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will not exist any more—or mourning, or crying, or pain, for the former things have ceased to exist.” 

 

God never meant for us to live in a world full of pain; His intention was perfection, but because of humanity’s sin, we were separated from Him. But in His love, He gave His Son to make a way for us to be close to Him now and to one day be restored to perfect unity with Him. God promises a day with no more pain. He also redeems our pain on this earth and uses it as a bridge for growing us closer to Him and to each other and to save lives. 

 

Our God truly does care for our emotions and our feelings. In Psalm 62:8, He tells us to pour out our hearts to Him. It is truly this broken and needy state that He desires; Psalm 51:17 says that our broken hearts are a pleasing sacrifice to Him and more precious than anything. Equally as much as He empathizes with our pain, our God is so fierce in love that He has not withheld the truth from us. This truth is that He loved us so much that He sent His Son to die for us so that we could live forever with Him (John 3:16). He tells us that in this world, we will face trouble, but if we believe in Jesus, we have already overcome the world. If we believe in Jesus, we have hope that is greater than the power of our circumstances (John 16:33). 

 

Pain does not weaken the reality of a loving God, but rather, it is this hardship that emphasizes the unconditional nature of His love and presence. Psalm 139:5–10 is perhaps one of the most eloquent descriptions of His steadfastness towards us, expressing that no matter where we go or what we do or how we feel, He holds us, stays by our side, and loves us. Romans 8:39 says that nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

 

1 Corinthians 13:13 says this: “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” I used to not understand what this meant, but now I see. The Lord is letting us know that faith is vital as we walk this earth, for it gives us hope. But when we get to heaven because of our belief in Jesus, we will no longer need faith to believe in something unseen or hope to comfort us that there is a better place. At last, we will see Love and know it fully and forever be encapsulated by it. 

 

Friend, this earth is not your home. It is a temporary dwelling. If you are longing for something more, stay yearning. 2 Corinthians 5 is one of the most beautiful depictions of such longing, saying, “we have a building from God, a house not built by human hands, that is eternal in the heavens.” It goes on to say, “Now the one who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave us the Spirit as a down payment. Therefore we are always full of courage, and we know that as long as we are alive here on earth we are absent from the Lord—for we live by faith, not by sight.” The Lord has purposed you for something more. He created you with the desire to be with you forever and to never be apart. You are loved, you have a purpose to be His, and you have hope in everlasting life when you believe in Him. What joy, what peace, what comfort. 

 

So, stand firm in your hope. And this is your hope: 

 

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be suddenly caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words” – 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 

 

 

Week 4 Challenge:

Make each day count! This week, ask the Lord to open doors of opportunity to share why you have hope as you look to the future.

 

Week 4 Reading Plan

Week 4 Memory Verse

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Grace Ann Hopkins

Grace Ann Hopkins

Grace Ann Hopkins loves Jesus. She is currently a student at Liberty University, excitedly studying Interdisciplinary Studies, concentrating on Business, Religion, and Christian Counseling. She has a deep love for God’s Word and seeks to share it with whoever crosses her path. Grace Ann loves her family and friends deeply, and her mission in life is to make sure the person next to her feels loved. She wants you to know that you indeed matter because God hand-crafted you specifically with a special purpose and loves you just the way you are (Ps 139:13-14, Eph 2:10, Jn 3:16). You can connect with Grace Ann on her website and blog.

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